Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Playing with Projects and a Flimsy

Well, I finally have a "first finish"!  This quilt top is now a flimsy. This is the Rail Fence pattern from Sujata Shah's book "Cultural Fusion Quilts".

Rail Fence quilt
56 inches square
I started this quilt way back in April of 2016.   You can read about it here.  This project got put on the back burner a few times since 2016, but I finally decided it's time was now and got it put together.  The i-sew-lation is at least good for getting some projects done.  I am very happy to get it to this stage.

one block to show you the fabrics, but each block is different.
It took me quite a while to decide what fabric I wanted to use for this quilt.  I finally decided on the indigo prints (shweshew) from DaGama Fabrics in South Africa because I love indigo and I love blue & white quilts too. I collected these fabrics over a span of time (maybe 10 years?).  I bought a few of them at a time at Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara every year.  I lived about 10 miles from where the Festival is held, so it was a yearly trip with my friends. ( I sure miss going).  The fabrics were fun to collect and to use.

 I used both the 3 Cats and 3 Leopards lines for the indigos and I used 1800's reproduction prints for the whites.  Quite the cultural fusion, eh?  I think I used up most all of my Da Gama fabrics making this.  You can see the logo that is printed on the backs of the fabrics in the pictures below.  There is also some of the fabric print showing, so you can see how different it is.



This one is almost reversible!


I made sure I got these photos because there wasn't any other way to preserve the logo otherwise, since I had to cut the fabric.  And I think it's pretty cool.

in process on the "design floor"
This quilt was a little math challenge for me, as the DaGama fabrics are only 35 inches wide, not 42.  I had to do math and shrink the blocks to 14 inches instead of 16 inches.  But it worked out really well!

There is lots of ways to lay out these blocks, but I didn't even play with them.  I knew this was the layout that appealed to me for these colors.  Maybe another time I'd do a different layout.  I'm so happy to finally have this done!  Now I need to decide if I'm quilting it myself or sending it out to the LA quilter.

This is what 50 pounds of flour looks like!  We were never able to find any flour in the grocery stores, because of the pandemic panic buying and hoarding, so we ended up ordering the flour directly from King Arthur Flour.  My husband has made almost all of the bread we use for the last 2 years, as well as hot dog and hamburger buns, biscuits etc.  Finding yeast was another adventure.  But now we're set for a while! Yay!

I was in the mood for finishing some things after I cleaned up the quilt studio and found a bunch of half-done projects. So, this was some blocks from an exchange I was in.  These blocks are so pastel they don't fit color-wise with the other blocks, so I decided they needed to be a table runner.  The 3 blocks made it just the right size.  I can't tell you how long this was waiting to be put together.  Kinda silly, right? My working theory is that no project is done before it's time - it needs to age properly!  Like a fine wine.

12 inch Urban Chicken blocks

Rather then basting and quilting the baby quilts that I'm supposed to working on, I started working on another project that I had been stalling on.  As in, I had the pattern and some fabric pieces were cut.  But I was inspired when I saw someone's quilt they were working on, and decided no time like the present for working on this.  Maybe it's my quarantine quilt?

Anywho, these are Urban Chicken blocks.  I fell in love with this pattern when the Tacoma Modern Quilt Guild used this block for the Block of the Month one time.  Here is the pattern from Cath at Wombat Quilts.  It's a very easy block to make and fun for using up scraps.  Cath shows this quilt done in a couple of different color schemes here and here, and I like them both.  I haven't decided if I'm using a limited color scheme (blues, greens and maybe purple) or if I'm going to go with rainbow colors.  I think rainbow, as I've wanted to do a rainbow quilt for a few years now.  Anyway, these 12 inch blocks are a lot of fun to make.  The chicken "beaks" are done with a wonky improv process and are so easy to do.  So easy that mine aren't being quite as wonky as I'd like them to be!  I have decided that the blue block needed more contrast in it.  It reads all the same color.  Lesson learned, I hope!

When I was trying to photo the blocks, the Quilt Inspector (Shade) came to see if he approved them.

Here he's complaining at me that they're not snuggle-worthy yet.

I think he got over it!  Now he's just being a little grumpy. 

Here is what I call the Washington state flower, as there are millions and trillions of these around here.  Whole pastures just full of them!  

And I found, when I wandered around the yard, that my trilliums are blooming and starting to spread!   The deer don't come through our yard anymore due to a new house and fence in the neighborhood and I miss seeing them but the trillium are happy about that.  The deer were nibbling them down to nothing. Sadly, they're also not eating the ivy that wants to take over everything on one side of our yard. Oh well.  I had never seen trillium before we moved to the Pacific Northwest.

It's been almost 70 days that we've been staying home.  Well, I have. My husband and my son keep going to the store for necessities, and I'm so glad they're going.  They both say that those trips are pretty stressful, even though most everyone is being so careful to do the social distance thing.  I had to take my son to the dentist last week, but it wasn't bad.  They were doing emergency appointments only, so the waiting room was empty.  I had to go get a blood draw yesterday and it was also empty.  And I wear my mask all the time I'm out.  For Mother's Day we all went for a drive.  I was getting antsy and ready to see something else.  So we just drove around in the country and never stopped anywhere.  It was a nice trip, but it was surprising how many people were out at the river!  Because we were having our first heat wave of the year.  

Then DH and I had to go for a drive the other night.  The battery in my car pooped out (after sitting in the driveway for 2 months!) and after 2 days of not starting very well (but still sitting in the driveway), we went for another drive to get it charged up good.  So another nice diversion that was a no-contact trip.  It's helping me to not be too antsy.  I miss going to guild meetings and seeing my friends!  

How are you doing?  Are you going out?  Are you wearing a mask?  I was so glad for the mask yesterday because the cottonwood trees are now spewing their "cotton" everywhere and it really aggravates my allergies.  Having the mask on really helps with the allergies.  Who knew?

That's all the news for now.  I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!
Happy quilting!


  1. The use of two colors is very effective. What a great quilt.

  2. Love the "relaxed" version of rail fence, Sharon. Glad you were able to complete one. i'm nearing the end of a quilt started over 4 yrs ago & knew that if I didn't finish now it would niggle at the back of my brain for another 4 yrs.[Pictures to come soon via FB] Neat to actually have trilliums growing in your back yard! Lucky you. Nice to met Shade - kitties are such good quilt inspectors. Glad you all are staying healthy - blessings.

  3. I love this design in blue and white! It's so multi-culti, too. I made a couple of masks for each of us, and we wear them every time we go out. DH has been doing most of the grocery shopping, because he goes out to run other errands anyway. Right now we're in Florida, where things are opening up, but we're not indulging in anything beyond take out food that we eat outside or back home!

  4. Love your rail fence quilt (and its cultural fusion of such different styles of fabric). DH bakes all of our bread etc. and we stocked up on KA flour at the end of February when the writing was on the wall for the staying at home business (we ordered yeast in bulk at that point as well). We are in the reopening (phase 2) process here - but I'm not comfortable going out yet unless absolutely necessary. Masks and gloves are the norm for us but not for far too many others here (there's a huge difference of opinion and some are quite vocal and unfriendly about it). We've been at home since early March with younger son staying here with us rather than alone in his apartment across town (with everything shut down around him). Elder son and family across town are faring about the same - he goes to work at the hospital daily, she works from home, Little Man goes to preschool (porch pick up/drop off, no outside visitors in the building including parents/grandparents, Zoom for things taught by outside teachers, etc.). I miss our weekly family dinners but we've had three driveway/front porch picnics to celebrate DH's birthday, younger son's birthday, and Mother's Day (no contact but lots of smiles and stories shared across the appropriate social distance).

  5. Wonderful way to use that collection of indigo fabrics.

    We have made all our own breads (pizza dough, buns, english muffins, crackers) for years usually all sourdough so we don't worry about yeast. I keep one of those big sealable buckets of flour on hand. We've always tried to keep a month's worth of essential supplies on hand just in case. And I dry, freeze and can garden stuff. My adult kids; however, have not learned by example.

    My life has not changed much. I'm pretty much a hermit and rarely go anywhere now that I'm retired. I sew, read, garden, work on genealogy and once in awhile clean the house. If we need anything hubby ventures out. We have masks but I haven't been out of the house since early March so haven't had to wear one anywhere. Hubby wears one if he has to. I survived a case of the Hong Kong flu back during the 1968 pandemic when life was different and no lockdown. I was a sophomore in HS and doctors made housecalls. Schools stayed open then and no one wore masks.

    And, hey, I might have to make some of those Urban Chicken blocks! Thanks for the link. They are similar to Geese Migration blocks at Cynthia's Quilting is more fun than Housework blog.

  6. Oh, what a lovely post and lovely quilt...That quilt is on my agenda...for someday.. I hate to say that I am indeed going nuts..all this time at home with no break...Of course, I rather be home than sick!! And so it goes

  7. I just mowed down a bunch of dandelions this afternoon but we don't have fields of them. My battery died and had to be charged and now I drive somewhere about every 3 days to keep it charged up. I found out there is rarely anyone in our local family grocery store 7 blocks from my house after 7:30 p.m. so that is when I go shopping. I had delivery for 4 weeks prior to leaving home the first time on May 5.

  8. I enjoyed reading about the Da Gama fabric you used in your top - I hadn't heard of that. It's a terrific top, nothing beats indigo and white. Nice to be finishing some other projects too. Being from New England I'm a huge King Arthur Flour fan. It is the best flour and their recipes are so good. You can't go wrong. Flour is hard to find here too. I was able to order a big bag of "strong flour" from Hokkaido so we are all set for awhile. Here in Tokyo, of course, everyone pretty much wears masks now all the time. There were COVID cases in our apartment building in April, so we've been taking this very seriously. Being in the middle of the city with no car, we walk for groceries every few days. The government has asked people to shop for food every two or three days, not every day. Grocery stores are tiny and cramped, and I just try to make my trips fast and efficient. Covid cases have rapidly declined in Tokyo!

  9. I made a couple of quilts from the Da Gama fabric. Originally it was made in Manchester UK for the African market and then with the slow demise of the cotton industry there the machines were exported to South Africa so they manufacture their own supplies and export it to us!

  10. What fun to see your blue and white quilt. I do enjoy Sujata's quilts and classes - so nice to see with your fabrics. I also have a few pieces of this kind of fabric - got it in Cape Town more than a few years also. I think most of it will become the backing for a denim quilt top that I finished a while ago. I think I will have to hand tie the quilt as that denim is so thick! I didn't think ahead on that one. Fabulous that your husband makes the bread. Have him try setting up some sour dough starter - then yeast not needed. I made some lovely sour dough English muffins a few months ago will be making again soon I think. Thanks for sharing!


Thank you for visiting my blog! I'd love for you to leave a comment - your comments really make my day!